Obama cites ‘justice and redemption’ in call for comprehensive prison reform

Obama cites ‘justice and redemption’ in call for comprehensive prison reform

Speaking at NAACP convention in Philadelphia, president urges shorter sentences for some drug crimes and says felons should have right to vote

Obama at NAACP 2015

Obama at NAACP 2015

Barack Obama called for comprehensive reform of the US criminal justice system on Tuesday, including shorter sentences for certain drug offenses and the right to vote for convicted felons.

“Justice and redemption go hand in hand,” Obama said in a speech to the NAACP’s annual convention in downtown Philadelphia.

“I see those young men on street corners and eventually in prisons, and I think to myself: ‘They could be me,’” he said. “The main difference between me and them is I had a more forgiving environment so that when I slipped up, when I made a mistake, I had a second chance.” 

Obama announced no new executive orders but tied together several of his administration’s campaigns from the last few years. He called for cities to embrace the recommendations of his task force on policing, cited the need for early education as a means to use opportunity to prevent crime, and highlighted the stark inequalities in incarceration, employment and education between white people and minorities.  [Read More]

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